Damian Lillard dominates in NBA playoff debut (Apr 21 12:00 ET )
Damian Lillard was kneed in the thigh by Dwight Howard on Sunday, but he kept playing and finished with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists in his first NBA playoff game.
Robin Lopez struggled in his matchup with Dwight Howard on Sunday, posting six points on 2-of-7 shooting with eight rebounds and one block.
The Scoop:The Blazers didn't give Lopez any help in the post defensively and Dwight made them pay, though Portland's decision to intentionally foul Howard led to four straight missed FTs and turned the momentum around with five minutes remaining. Lopez had a +/- rating of -15, which was easily the worst of any player, and it will be interesting to see if Portland alters their defensive approach on Wednesday.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a franchise playoff-record 46 points and Damian Lillard added 31, including the go-ahead free throws in overtime, to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 122-120 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. He scored the next five points for Portland and put the Trail Blazers on top by one point with a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston. James Harden and Dwight Howard each scored 27 points for Houston, and Howard grabbed 15 rebounds.
The Houston Rockets were happy simply to return to the playoffs last season. A year later and with the addition of Dwight Howard, the Rockets are back in the postseason and looking to make some noise. ''Just being here is not good enough,'' said Chandler Parsons, who made his playoff debut last year. ''We want to win and we want to contend for a championship and we want to be the last team standing.'' The Rockets returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009 and battled back from a 3-0 deficit in the first round before being eliminated by Oklahoma City in Game 6.